UX and "Use Global"

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elin

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4 Jul 2009, 12:08:1104/07/2009
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One of the most confusing UI issues for users is the "use global"
option most notably in com_content but also elsewhere. It is so
confusing that I would say once a week a user finds his or her way to
the tracker to report that global settings are not working.

Using com_content as the example:

When creating an article a user gets three choices for linkable title:
Use global
No
Yes

Now, someone new to Joomla might think that selecting "use global'
would actually result in the global settings being used, but that is
not the case if there is a menu item directly or indirectly linking to
the article. That's because if the article says "use global' in fact
the menu parameters will be used. If the menu item says "use global"
then the globals will be used. There are 18 possible combinations of
article, menu and global for most parameters in a directly linked
article for users to master.

Although my view is that use global should actually mean use global
and there should be a separate option to use menu (which would reflect
the cascade's operaton), I know that isn't going to happen. So I think
we should make it less confusing to understand how these 18 work.

Specifically, I would like to propose a change of language here. As
previously mentioned using "global" for different things is already
confusing. I'm not sure what the right language is however. I have
thought about "use menu," but it is wrong because in some cases there
really is no menu. Still it would be an improvement.

If people agree with this, what wording makes sense?

Elin

Gergő Erdősi

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4 Jul 2009, 12:24:3804/07/2009
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I agree this is confusing. Personally I would go a bit further. I
think there should be three options:
- Select -
Yes
No

I think this is the less confusing. You may ask where global and menu
options are? Well, I think they are not needed. I would call global
options as default options. So if you click on the parameters button
in the article manager, you can set the default options for articles.
You can override these options in menu level, and you can override
menu level options in article level. But I think you don't need more
options than - Select - / Yes / No. Let's see some cases:

1. You don't select anything: This way the default options apply.
2. You don't select in article level, but you select a different
option in menu level: The menu level option automatically overrides
the default option.
3. You select an option both in article and menu level: Article option
automatically overrides menu and default settings.

As you can see Joomla is able to decide instead of the user, so in my
opinion there is no need having more options than - Select - / Yes /
No.

--
Gergő Erdősi



2009/7/4 elin <elin....@gmail.com>:

elin

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4 Jul 2009, 13:19:5504/07/2009
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I like that.


Elin

On Jul 4, 12:24 pm, Gergő Erdősi <gergo.erd...@joomline.org> wrote:
> I agree this is confusing. Personally I would go a bit further. I
> think there should be three options:
>  - Select -
>  Yes
>  No
>
> I think this is the less confusing. You may ask where global and menu
> options are? Well, I think they are not needed. I would call global
> options as default options. So if you click on the parameters button
> in the article manager, you can set the default options for articles.
> You can override these options in menu level, and you can override
> menu level options in article level. But I think you don't need more
> options than - Select - / Yes / No. Let's see some cases:
>
> 1. You don't select anything: This way the default options apply.
> 2. You don't select in article level, but you select a different
> option in menu level: The menu level option automatically overrides
> the default option.
> 3. You select an option both in article and menu level: Article option
> automatically overrides menu and default settings.
>
> As you can see Joomla is able to decide instead of the user, so in my
> opinion there is no need having more options than - Select - / Yes /
> No.
>
> --
> Gergő Erdősi
>
> 2009/7/4 elin <elin.war...@gmail.com>:

Andrea Tarr at Tarr Consulting

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4 Jul 2009, 13:22:1304/07/2009
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I would be more inclined to have Use Default/Yes/No. Leaving - Select - as
the only means of selecting default doesn't give any indication that there
is a default, let alone a cascading default. I think you'd have a lot of
users thinking they had to define everything manually.

In case you haven't noticed, I like thing spelled out :-)

Just my speaking from what I would think if I saw it...

Andy

Andrea Tarr
www.tarrconsulting.com

Amy Stephen

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4 Jul 2009, 14:05:5804/07/2009
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I need to remind Elin that earlier today she made a request for yet another set of parameters - for defaults. lol!

Elin - you remind me of one of our least favorite J! pet peeves that we try to ignore due to blood pressure issues.

We need to address the menu parameter issues created in 1.5. Articles should not override Menu Item Parameters.

If we do that we will have:
1. System-wide defaults
2. Parameters for Menu Items that nothing else can override.
3. Parameters for Article that nothing else can override.

The 3 layers of parameters have always been complex. But, given 1.5's implementation of SOME article parameters overriding Menu Items, now we don't have Menu Item parameters. I dare say, much of the end user confusion comes from that illogical situation.

Come on, Elin. I got your back. Let's do the Menu Item Parameter 1.6 Rumble that we have been waiting for.

Amy Stephen

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4 Jul 2009, 14:06:5604/07/2009
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On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 1:05 PM, Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com> wrote:
Elin - you remind me of one of our least favorite J! pet peeves that we try to ignore due to blood pressure issues.

That was unfortunate word choice. I meant: Elin, you are remindING me...

Gergő Erdősi

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4 Jul 2009, 14:52:4104/07/2009
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Well, I was also thinking on the 'default' selectable option, but it's
still not clear, because if you override the settings at menu level,
then the menu options apply, not the default ones, and it's confusing,
because the user selected to use the default settings. I wrote -
Select - because for me this option means that I don't want to specify
the settings here, let the system use the defaults, or the overrides.
We use this kind of option list for example in filters (like article
manager, weblinks etc.) too.

--
Gergő Erdősi



2009/7/4 Andrea Tarr at Tarr Consulting <at...@tarrconsulting.com>:

elin

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4 Jul 2009, 14:55:1304/07/2009
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@Andrea
The problem with Default is that people will think it means what you
set in the article configuration NOT the menu. Maybe it could be
Optional Select. Or Maybe the parameter itself could be called an
override?

@Amy,

Yes yes I am working my way up to that which must not be spoken of.

Indeed I would say once we know how we are going to name the ability
to configure article level parameters the next big discussion is
whether they should be cascaded consistently across all the layouts
for a given view (e.g. category list and category blog). As you might
guess I am strongly in favor of consistency or clear indication in the
interface what the parameter does or does not apply to. The current
system of sometimes applying some parameters to some unspecified views
higher up in the drill down is pretty maddening for users. Of course
some of that was from not officially having category level parameters
in com_content (except when you do).

I think parameter cascade rules really are a thread of their own which
I might as well start while I'm going down my list.

Elin


On Jul 4, 2:06 pm, Amy Stephen <amystep...@gmail.com> wrote:

Andrew Eddie

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4 Jul 2009, 18:07:0204/07/2009
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With respect ;) the three layers are very simple and there are
numerous case when the article has every right to say "you *will* do
it my way" either because of Itemid issues or it just needs to be that
way.

The priority of parameters is this: Article has final say, the Menu,
then global defaults lastly. The object being views should *always*
have the final say.

If you are viewing a menu item, it should command.

If you are viewing an article, it should be able to configure itself.

To have any other arrangement is confusing because it does not follow
a logical progression, and it causes difficulties in designing the
API.

You need to solve the correct problem. It is not that the order of
precedence is wrong, it's that the parameters are likely poorly
designed, or the way you are setting up the site is wrong.

This is off topic though (Amy, you should know better :P). Please
open up a new thread but give me the use-cases you are trying to
solve.

Regards,
Andrew Eddie
http://www.theartofjoomla.com - the art of becoming a Joomla developer




2009/7/5 Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com>:

elin

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4 Jul 2009, 18:13:2504/07/2009
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Andrew,

Ok I will have to start a thread.

Elin

On 4 July, 18:07, Andrew Eddie <mambob...@gmail.com> wrote:
> With respect ;) the three layers are very simple and there are
> numerous case when the article has every right to say "you *will* do
> it my way" either because of Itemid issues or it just needs to be that
> way.
>
> The priority of parameters is this: Article has final say, the Menu,
> then global defaults lastly.  The object being views should *always*
> have the final say.
>
> If you are viewing a menu item, it should command.
>
> If you are viewing an article, it should be able to configure itself.
>
> To have any other arrangement is confusing because it does not follow
> a logical progression, and it causes difficulties in designing the
> API.
>
> You need to solve the correct problem.  It is not that the order of
> precedence is wrong, it's that the parameters are likely poorly
> designed, or the way you are setting up the site is wrong.
>
> This is off topic though (Amy, you should know better :P).  Please
> open up a new thread but give me the use-cases you are trying to
> solve.
>
> Regards,
> Andrew Eddiehttp://www.theartofjoomla.com- the art of becoming a Joomla developer
>
> 2009/7/5 Amy Stephen <amystep...@gmail.com>:
>
> > I need to remind Elin that earlier today she made a request for yet another
> > set of parameters - for defaults. lol!
>
> > Elin - you remind me of one of our least favorite J! pet peeves that we try
> > to ignore due to blood pressure issues.
>
> > We need to address the menu parameter issues created in 1.5. Articles should
> > not override Menu Item Parameters.
>
> > If we do that we will have:
> > 1. System-wide defaults
> > 2. Parameters for Menu Items that nothing else can override.
> > 3. Parameters for Article that nothing else can override.
>
> > The 3 layers of parameters have always been complex. But, given 1.5's
> > implementation of SOME article parameters overriding Menu Items, now we
> > don't have Menu Item parameters. I dare say, much of the end user confusion
> > comes from that illogical situation.
>
> > Come on, Elin. I got your back. Let's do the Menu Item Parameter 1.6 Rumble
> > that we have been waiting for.
>

Andrew Eddie

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4 Jul 2009, 18:29:3304/07/2009
to joomla-...@googlegroups.com
I'd actually argue that in the context of the menu, "Use Global" is
pretty close to the mark (though I agree, it's not the best phrase).
But in an Articles, it could be something akin to "Use Menu or Global
Setting". I prefer "Default" myself just because it's short (and
phrase in list options don't translate well in length in some case).

So, this is an interesting discussion to have as I'm refactoring what
is essentially the "globals" for the component. I'm going to divide
the parameters into at least two panes.

1. True globals options (that are final, no override allowed).
2. Default options with respect to frontend display (aka Menu parameters).

Whatever the terminology for #2 is, we can carry through to "Use
Global". I hope to have that designed today.

My only other suggestion is adding a default text tip in the menu edit
screen explaining that the object you are looking at can override some
of these settings.

Certainly happy to play with the terminology while I'm working in this zone.

Regards,
Andrew Eddie
http://www.theartofjoomla.com - the art of becoming a Joomla developer




2009/7/5 Andrea Tarr at Tarr Consulting <at...@tarrconsulting.com>:

Amy Stephen

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4 Jul 2009, 19:17:4004/07/2009
to Joomla! CMS Development

On Jul 4, 11:08 am, elin <elin.war...@gmail.com> wrote:
> If people agree with this, what wording makes sense?
>
> Elin

Had to read back through this to see where I went off topic. :-P

No, Elin, in response to your question, I don't see the wording of the
listbox options as the problem. I think there is confusion and
inflexibility with com_content parameters that nomenclature won't
address.

From my perspective, dealing with those issues makes more sense and
the decisions could easily impact the outcome of this discussion.

Sorry, Andrew, I see things as connected. :-P

Andrew Eddie

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4 Jul 2009, 20:35:4404/07/2009
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S'ok. I know what you are talking about and it's a different problem
to solve (see other thread).

I've got some ideas to solve this one though. It's just one of those
domino things where I've got to fix a heap of things first to get it
all to come together :) I really want my menu params back in the UI
:)

Regards,
Andrew Eddie
http://www.theartofjoomla.com - the art of becoming a Joomla developer




2009/7/5 Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com>:

Sam Moffatt

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4 Jul 2009, 21:12:2104/07/2009
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Instead of use global why not just call it 'inherit', this way it will
automatically take the parent item and will always make sense if there
is or isn't a tree. If the parent is global, great, if you have
something else in the way that doesn't wish to enforce something then
it makes sense then as well.

Sam Moffatt
http://pasamio.id.au

Andrew Eddie

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4 Jul 2009, 22:58:5804/07/2009
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Ok, so here are the upper most steps to try and bring some rationality
to the issue from a UX point of view. Note the tip that explains some
params can be "changed".

This work is not committed yet but the popup config now supports tabs
(yes, any number for the 3PD's - knock yourselves out, hehe).

I've tried to break it into things that are just fixed for the
component, and then things that affect frontend views.

com_content_config3.png
com_content_config2.png
com_content_config1.png

Ron Severdia

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4 Jul 2009, 23:26:2604/07/2009
to Joomla! CMS Development
On 4 July, 10:22, "Andrea Tarr at Tarr Consulting"
<at...@tarrconsulting.com> wrote:
> I think you'd have a lot of
> users thinking they had to define everything manually.

Yes, I think this is the right call as far as the dropdown is
concerned...if it needed to be changed. I'm not sure it does.

I think the issue has several facets:

1) The current Article Parameters should be called Global Article
Parameters. Using the name "Global Configuration" refers to the
section in the Site menu so there's a lack of clarity in the
nomenclature. (There isn't much room in the toolbar to have a longer
name, but if it's moved to the Content Menu there is enough space.)

2) The Global Article Parameters screen should have a sentence
explanation at the top that these parameters may be overridden in Menu
Items or Articles themselves.

3) The problem with having "menu" as an option in the individual
article parameters is that you'll need to detect whether or not a menu
item is pointed to that article for it to be truly accurate.

4) I would also add a link to a modal (like current global article
params toolbar link) within the individual article parameters (in the
Advanced Parameters slider) so the user could essentially check the
Global Article Parameters while editing/creating an article.

5) If possible, show any menu parameters in the same slider in order
to make the best decisions about article parameters WHILE editing/
creating an article.

Amy Stephen

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4 Jul 2009, 23:50:2304/07/2009
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I like the tabs. Much cleaner presentation of options.

Recommend changing the Heading to be "Article Global Settings" so the scope of all parameters is clear.

It might make sense to move away from "Global" to "Component-like term" -  maybe "Article Component Defaults" or "Content System-wide Defaults."

Recommend changing the Title of the Tab that says "Global" to be "Text Filters" since those options are no more, or less, "Global" than the other two tables.  Labeling only one tab in that way will likely confuse.

Nice interface improvements.

Andrew Eddie

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5 Jul 2009, 00:27:3505/07/2009
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Noted, and another idea is attached.

Note that with JForm (the smarts that drives this), 3rd party plugins
can add their own tabs or add additional fields. So, for instance, a
3rd party tagging solution could hijack the Integration tab and add
it's own global setting for Articles. Very powerful new system :)

Regards,
Andrew Eddie
http://www.theartofjoomla.com - the art of becoming a Joomla developer


2009/7/5 Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com>:
com_content_config4.png

elin

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5 Jul 2009, 05:25:1405/07/2009
to Joomla! CMS Development
Here's why I don't like using globals for both components and the
site.
When people ask how to change something, other people say "fix your
globals."
But maybe we could change global configuration to site configuration.

Elin

On Jul 5, 12:27 am, Andrew Eddie <mambob...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Noted, and another idea is attached.
>
> Note that with JForm (the smarts that drives this), 3rd party plugins
> can add their own tabs or add additional fields.  So, for instance, a
> 3rd party tagging solution could hijack the Integration tab and add
> it's own global setting for Articles.  Very powerful new system :)
>
> Regards,
> Andrew Eddiehttp://www.theartofjoomla.com- the art of becoming a Joomla developer
>
> 2009/7/5 Amy Stephen <amystep...@gmail.com>:
>
> > I like the tabs. Much cleaner presentation of options.
>
> > Recommend changing the Heading to be "Article Global Settings" so the scope
> > of all parameters is clear.
>
> > It might make sense to move away from "Global" to "Component-like term" -
> > maybe "Article Component Defaults" or "Content System-wide Defaults."
>
> > Recommend changing the Title of the Tab that says "Global" to be "Text
> > Filters" since those options are no more, or less, "Global" than the other
> > two tables.  Labeling only one tab in that way will likely confuse.
>
> > Nice interface improvements.
>
> > On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 9:58 PM, Andrew Eddie <mambob...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Ok, so here are the upper most steps to try and bring some rationality
> >> to the issue from a UX point of view.  Note the tip that explains some
> >> params can be "changed".
>
> >> This work is not committed yet but the popup config now supports tabs
> >> (yes, any number for the 3PD's - knock yourselves out, hehe).
>
> >> I've tried to break it into things that are just fixed for the
> >> component, and then things that affect frontend views.
>
> >> Regards,
> >> Andrew Eddie
> >>http://www.theartofjoomla.com- the art of becoming a Joomla developer
>
>
>
>  com_content_config4.png
> 80KViewDownload

Amy Stephen

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5 Jul 2009, 08:33:4105/07/2009
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That is very nice, Andrew.

I like it named "Articles Manager Configuration."

I agree with your point, now, Elin, currently "Global Configuration" means two things - and in the Interface it is a place. It probably is confusing to people when they are told to update their Global Configuration for an Article Layout default.

I also like your suggestion on "Site Configuration" - it's descriptive. Might be good to move away from Global completely.

Andrew - the Articles tab contains Layout Parameter Defaults - what about naming it "Defaults"? That could be a consistent term between Component Configurations and a word with a meaning most understand.

Sam - I think "Inherit" is perfect, except it's a geek word with object-oriented root which might not be understood as readily as "default."

I am pretty blown away by these UI improvements. Very interesting to hear how the "backend" will be easier for developers to augment core offerings. That ought to stir things up.

Thanks, Andrew.

G. D. Speer

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6 Jul 2009, 14:54:1806/07/2009
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There is a subtlety in Sam's suggestion that I think is worth keeping.  At the risk of geekiness and object oriented connotations, I think there is general understanding to the idea of 'inherit' - the tooltip can clarify and expand the meaning.  The point is that to laypeople, 'default' will tend to point them to the Site Configuration or Component Configuration screens for setting defaults.  They have no suggestion that the cascade might have a level of overrides between the place where they set their defaults and the article edit screen they are viewing.   'Inherit' is sufficiently vague - reinforced by the fact there is no screen called 'inherit' in the UI - to indicate that there may be several layers of cascaded settings.
 
A UI enhancement for the article settings screen would be to query the cascade and indicate in an adjacent read-only box what default value would be inherited absent an override.
 
 
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Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 6:33 AM
Subject: Re: UX and "Use Global"



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